Sunday I decided to try a few recipes from my latest Bon Appetit magazine. I also decided to make more artisan bread, a strawberry crostada (thanks Lyndsay!), and cherry jam! I managed everything except the jam. (NOTE: I made it on Monday–blog to come). Other than the corn soup’s bacon garnish, this is a complete vegetarian menu. Olivia doesn’t eat bacon, so she left it out and still thought it tasted great!
My day started with a trip to the market to pick up all the necessary ingredients. I then called Sean and asked if he and Olivia would like to join us around 4 PM. I over estimated by ability to serve up a 4 course meal by about one hour. Not too bad.
The first course:
Summer Corn Soup w/ Artisan Bread
Tomato and Tapenade Tartlets
Rustic Strawberry Crostada with Vanilla yogurt ice cream
Even with the air on full blast, my kitchen was a fire pit after all the cooking and baking. Our “guests” thought it was cool 🙂 They retreated to the futon to watch Bizarre Foods w/ Andrew Zimern. His show is great, but I can get a bit grossed out after a while.
RECIPES and Process Photos CLICK HERE:
Summer Corn Soup (adapted from Bon Appetit August 2008)
3 cups whole milk
3 ears fresh corn, kernals cut from cobs, cobs broken in half and reserved
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 lg onion chopped
1 lg carrot, peeled, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 cups water
2 lg fresh thyme sprigs
1 lg fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 thick slices bacon, diced
1/3 cup reserved fresh corn kernals
1 green onion thinly sliced
pinch of cayenne pepper
Creme fraiche, stirred to loosen
Bring milk and corncob halves (not kernels) just to a boil in a heavy med pot. Remove from heat, cover and let steep while sauteing vegetables.
Melt butter in lg saucepan over med heat, add onions; sprinkle w/ salt and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes–do not let onion brown. Add corn kernels, carrot, celery , and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups water, herb sprigs, bay leaf, and milk with corn cobs. Increase heat and bring to boil. Cover partially, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors..
Discard corncobs, herb sprigs, and bay leaf. Cool soup slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth. Strain into large bowl pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Season soup to taste with salt and white pepper.
DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Garnish Cook bacon, drain, and cool. Mix in corn, green onion, and pinch cayenne. DO AHEAD can be made two hours ahead. let stand at room temperature.
Rewarm soup over med heat. Divide among bowls. Sprinkle garnish over. Drizzle w/ creme fraiche and serve.
Tomato and Tapenade Tartlets (adapted from Bon Appettit August 2008)
1 17.3 oz package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1/2 cup tapenade (I use my own recipe, but you can buy it pre-made)
5 ripe medium tomatoes, preferably assorted colors, cut into 1/4 in. slices
12 ounces fresh mozzarella thinly sliced
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar (i used balsamico)
18 sm. fresh basil leaves
6 green or black pitted olives
Position racks in top third and bottom third of oven. Preheat to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out first pastry sheet to 13″ x 13″. Use a 6″ diameter plate to trace /cut around 4 circles. Transfer 3 of the 4 rounds to the first baking sheet. Place the fourth on the second baking sheet. Rool out second sheet of pastry 13″x 13″ and cut out two more 6″ circles. You should now have 3 6″ circles on each sheet. Pierce each circle with a fork several times. Top circles with another sheet of parchment. Place another baking sheet on top of parchment on each sheet.
Place one baking sheet stack on each rack in the oven and bake about 8-10 minutes (watch them close, my first batched burned, so I ended up doing 8 min). Rotate baking sheets and bake another 5-8 minutes( again watch them closely you want them golden not brown at all.) Remove top baking sheets and parchment papers from tops and allow to bake another 3 minutes if needed to make golden.
Transfer sheets to rack and cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight room temperature.
Increase oven temp to 450 degrees. Spread a generous tablespoon of tapenade over each round of baked pastry leaving 1/2″ border at edges. Alternate 4 tomato slices and 4 slices mozzarella atop each pastry in a pinwheel pattern. Bake until cheese just starts to melt–about 2 minutes (remember this is for fresh mozzarella). Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic. Arrange a few basil leaves and some sliced olives over top of each. Serve immediately.
Tapenade (from Giada’s Muffaletta):
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup olive oil
10 large pitted green olives, chopped
1/3 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Gradually blend in the oil. Stir in the olives and roasted peppers. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper.
My friend took a cooking class from a wonderful farm cooking school in British Columbia on Vancouver Island. She was kind enough to share some recipes with me!
This crostata would have been a lot prettier if I wasn’t cooking so much food at the same time! I was trying to prepare it in between the corn soup, bread, and tartlets, and so it had to be thrown into a hot pan which caused spreading taking away the pretty circular form I had rolled. I also couldn’t basket weave the strips because they were melting from the kitchen heat, so I literally threw them on as they broke apart. We didn’t care–it tastes damn good and we had fun! Besides, I think it had a more “rustic” look.
Angelnina’s NOTES: I did adapt the recipe a little. My method was a bit different in that I didn’t mix the butter in with my hands, I used my food processor and pulsed it in.
Mark’s Chiles Rellanos (Adapted from cookbook Mexican: Healthy Ways with Favorite Cuisine by Jane Milton)
Mark made these and there is no way I’m going to write out all of those instructions! I will say he used fresh pablano chiles and rehydrated New Mexico red chiles. He stuffed them with cheddar, cream cheese, and mashed potatoes. He then dips them in an egg batter and fries them till cooked. Mmmmm. The rellenos made dinner complete!
MORE NOTES FROM ANGELNINA:
I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed all of these dishes.
Although the corn soup takes some work, it is more than worth it. The fresh corn and fresh picked herbs (from my own garden) created an amazing soup that I will certainly make again. Nothing was overpowering. I added one sprig rather than two of the rosemary because my family likes the taste of rosemary but doesn’t want it to steal the show. The flavors were perfectly balanced.
The tartlets are incredibly flavorful. I’d like to find other tapenade recipes that I like as much as Giada’s. I’m on the hunt. The fresh mozzarella is key. I love Trader Joes because they make it possible for me to make great tasting dishes at affordable prices.
I subscribe to Bon Appetit and I get excited everytime it comes in the mail. This year I gave my son a subscription too. There can never be too many cooks in the family 🙂